Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Nutcracker Ballet



God must have heard my prayer last night, because he gave me back my voice this morning. Good thing, too, because my chaparone and her daughter failed to show up. I had to take the students by myself. I am fortunate that they mind me when I correct them. I would have to say that my students were the best behaved students in the whole building.

I wish that I could have taken everyone to see the Ballet. The music, the dancers, the dancing, the costumes! It was phenomenal, and the nutcracker was very well made coming and going.. very well made.

I just wish I had put new batteries in my camera before I left. Although I wasnt able to take close pictures, I wish my camera hadn't given out.

A special thanks to everybody who prayed for me to get my voice back. I am still sick and I am still coughing, but at least, I have my voice back.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Back at Work

I am still feeling sick and I still do not have my voice, but I went in to work today.

It is funny how people don't know how to respond to someone who cannot talk. They are at a loss and don't know what to say, or they start acting if they can't talk, either.

I am worried about tomorrow. I hope we will be back in time from the Nutcracker Ballet for the children to eat lunch. The woman who was supposed to go with me to chaparone the kids hasn't called and she was not available at her work. I had to look for a replacement and me with no voice!

I was able to reach one of the parents, but because of my voice, she thought I was pulling a prank, so she asked me a million questions. I kept trying to explain to her that I was sick and couldn't talk. She finally figured it out, but she put my voice through the test big time!

Please say a prayer for everything to go smoothly tomorrow.  The students will have to do without their usual breakfast at 9 a.m. I hope they can survive that, and I hope the cafeteria people won't give me a hard time getting them some lunch if we are late returning from the ballet.

I hope I get my voice back by tomorrow. It's already been three days.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Out Sick

I am not feeling any better. My throat feels as if it is full of broken glass. My ears feel as if they are going to pop. My headache is as big as Texas. My bones hurt. I have the runs. And I have lost my voice. I hate being sick.

I am feeling guilty about not going in to work today, but I will try to take good care of myself. I have too much to do. I hope I can go in to work tomorrow.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pyramid of Health

The Thanksgiving feast was good, but the Chinese stir-fry and the creamy enchiladas were even better. And with all that wonderful wine, who needs a sleeping pill?! 
I usually eat a healthy Thanksgiving meal, but going to someone else's house was the result of too many treats for my tummy that were hard to say "no" to.  I swear, I must have put on at least 10 pounds over Thanksgiving alone...
I returned with a painfully scratchy throat, which means that I will probably be eating some soups with jalapeno until I feel better. I do not know if I will feel good enough to take go marketing today, but when I do, I think it would be better to take my mind off holiday foods and sweets for awhile and to review the Food Pyramid before I take that next trip to the grocery store.
Food Pyramid 
5-1/2 oz  protein: lean meats, poultry, legumes, beans, peas, nuts, seeds
3 cups milk
2 cups fruit
2-1/2 cups vegetables (best: broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes)
3 oz whole wheat grains (brown rice, barley, oats)
Super Foods
Vitamin C: water with splash of lemon juice for liver cleansing.
Omega 3s: flax for muscle
Cinnamon   for lowering cholesterol and improving glucose levels
Yogurt:  for building bones and for healthy intestinal tract
Seafood: for reducing heart disease and colon cancer
Whole Wheat Grains: for energy
Legumes: are low in fat and high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Good for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar
Nuts: contain copper, magnesium and vitamin E. Almonds contain calcium; walnuts contain Omega 3s.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving Greetings

Happy Thanksgiving
from The Glass Box.
I will be on a mini-break this week. Wishing one and all a very happy Thanksgiving.
A special thanks to Roxy Mama for the Thanksgiving graphic and to Donna for the fantasy graphic. 

Sunday, November 19, 2006


If you look up weekend under images, you will find images of beautiful places to see or of things to do with your loved one(s). Unfortunately, for me, weekend means a little bit of time to do those tasks that I don't have the time to complete during the weekdays, and most of the time, those To Do Tasks get carried forward onto the next weekend, because there never seems to be enough time.
It would be nice to be able to have time on my hands to do whatever I want. It is no wonder that so many men commit affairs, because men always have way too much time on their hands. Women, on the other hand, always seem to give themselves extra work to do! No wonder we are always tired.
I timed the hair appointment just right, because I had some time in between to visit the St Jude shrine, to go grocery shopping, to put away the groceries, and to take a nap. I thought it was funny that my coworker said that I could relax and drink a margarita while the kids entertained themselves. That might be the way she babysits, but to me, that is not babysitting.
 The girls showed me their rooms and their toys. The ten year old had lots of award ribbons. She wears two hearing aids and has a speech problem. She says her stepfather is more like a real dad.
 We watched the Corpse Bride. We ate. We played checkers and tic-tac-toe. The older girl said: I wish you could come back tomorrow. Aww, sweet. Mom must have called three or four times while she was away. We were all like: Again?! Like can't you see that you keep interrupting us when we are having so much fun?! ha ha
Today is Sunday. I wish this was a day that I could use just to relax, but hopefully, I won't kill myself, trying to complete some of the tasks on my to do list.
poodle skirt 50's dog coat costumeWinivere

Saturday, November 18, 2006


It's hard to remember a day that I don't wake up early. In my childhood, it was the roosters that would start my day, but as an adult, it's usually the light of day that makes me feel as if I have slept too long, no matter how late I stay up the night before.

Today, I am the first appointment on my hairdresser's agenda. I am not looking forward to handing her my hard earned money, but my grown out roots demand some attention. This is the first touchup that I go to.

It feels weird to have to go to a professional to get my hair done. In the past, I always dyed my own hair. I like doing it myself, because I don't have to worry about having calico hair. I just retouch as soon as it is needed. But with highlights, it is so expensive that you wait three months between treatments, unless if you have a high paying job, I suppose. Marilyn Monroe would retouch her roots every five days. That's a lot of maintenance! I think I have done the hair comb over trick to it's limit. All I know is that I am too embarrassed to let it go one more week. It's time.

While we were at lunch yesterday, one of the teachers was talking on the phone with her friend. They were frustrated at wanting to attend a dinner gala event but they couldn't find a babysitter. I told her that I would do it, and she thought I was joking. To make a long story short, that is what I will be doing tonight: babysitting two little girls, ages 5 and 10.

So after work yesterday, she invited me to coffee and to meet the girls. Well, we ended up at Red Lobster instead! I didn't expect a meal out of this, but I am glad that it was at a restaurant that left my palate in complete catharsis, not to mention the buns that were not on the menu. The waiters were so hot that they were fortunate that the food kept me busy, although it didn't keep me from flirting when they showed up.

I feel guilty about not calling Tony. He probably thinks I didn't like him enough to take the time to keep in contact with him. Is this what men feel like when they don't call us?


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just Another Typical Day

Sharing a few events of the day...
"The teacher was staring at my breasts," she defended herself, insinuating that the teacher was a pervert to tell her that she needed to wear something that was more appropriate. "None of the other teachers have said anything," she said. "There's nothing wrong with what I am wearing."
Well, the truth is that the student is overweight and her weight made her look as if she had more curves than a matterhorn at Disneyland. I looked at her and said, "Well, ma'am, your top IS quite revealing." She seemed shocked to hear me say that. She tried to pull her top up, and she laughed as if she realized that I was telling the truth, but of course, the top was too small to stay up. 
In one of my groups, I couldn't believe the behavior of two students who got referrals on the same day. They pulled out their referrals to compare them and gave themselves a high five as if to celebrate their success at doing something bad.
"What's the use of getting a certificate if you don't get anything else with it. It's just a piece of paper." one student said.
"You're right," I said. "If you had received a certificate, you could have shown it to your dad and he might have been proud of you. If you receive a referral, that's your ticket to go to OCS with all the other bad kids.You are right. Your referral gives you the reward of going to OCS and making your dad see that you are not willing to do well in school. What are you going to tell your mom?"
"My mom is going tobe mad, Miss." Suddenly, they were quiet. (That kid always comments at how his father is too busy with his other family.)
"I don't care," the other girl said. "I don't need to finish school. School is boring."
"You don't need to finish school? Well, then maybe you won't be bored when you have a husband or a boyfriend who will make you do whatever he wants you to do, someone who doesn't like to  work. Do you really want to have to depend on someone else to take care of you who doesn't want to work?! Don't you want to be able to depend on yourself?"
She got quiet. The other kids got quiet. I think it hit home, because all but one of the kids in that group live with single mothers.
Then, there is this student who only has one eye. The kids make fun of her and she is always in trouble because she is always trying to defend herself. She is a special ed student and I don't think anyone has taken the time to teach her any social skills. Well, today, I got after one of the kids in group who keeps making fun of the one-eyed girl for no reason.
"Everybody else does it," they all said. "Nobody likes her." 
"Just because everyone does it doesn't make it right. What if it was you? How would you feel? You are going to meet all types of people in your life," I told her, "and many of them are going to be without an eye, without an arm, without a leg. It's not her fault that she only has one eye. What are your reasons for making fun of her and treating her bad? Did someone with bad eyes look at you the wrong way? Does your mom scare you with her eyes when she gets angry at you?"
The other kids thought it was funny and they laughed.
"I don't like people that stare at me," she said, "and that girl is always staring at me with her one eye."
So I made everybody in group stare at her. She laughed and covered herself with her notebook. She couldn't take it. She told everybody to stop staring at her. 
"My mom does scare me with her eyes when she gets mad,"she said.
"What if God punishes you and sends you a boyfriend or a husband who has scary eyes? What are you going to do?"
"My boyfriend has a bulging eye," she said. 
"Is that going to make you hate him?" I asked.
"No. I love him." she said... and then she was quiet.
I looked up at the picture in my office of the three frogs, and I told them the story of the three frogs. "Which frog are you?" I asked them. They couldnt have been more wrong about which frog they were and about which frog they should be. The story made them think.
I was surprised that one of the other kids asked about the other picture, so I shared with them the story of the  eagle and the chicken. "What does that story tell you?" I asked. Again, this story made them think.
The pictures that seem out of place in my office finally made sense to them. The kids were quiet, as if deep in thought. Will they finally get it?
Behavior cannot change in a day or even in a week. Words are only words until they are followed by action. Will she make it? Will they make it? Having free will leaves all of our decisions in our own court.
Then, there is this little boy who is always in trouble. He is only in sixth grade and he is adorable, but he manages to get into trouble almost everyday. "The kids always blame everything on me," he said. The problem is that he has already established a reputation, so when he tells the truth, they don't believe him. I had to share  with him the story of the kid who cried wolf. When I went to pick him up at PE for group, he had to go to detention, because he was late to class. For the first time, I noticed that the look on his face was different. Did he finally get it?
Sharing my stories with the kids always makes me remember a girl named Jordan. When we parted, she left me a note that said:
I hope you will continue with your job so you will keep on sharing your interesting stories.
My jobs have never paid me what I am worth, but it's kids like Jordan that make my work feel so rewarding. Who will be the Jordan(s) at this job?
My goal is not to make a difference. My goal is to be the difference.
Thank you to Donna (nightmare mom) for this great graphic.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Word About Ceremonies


I don't know about you, but I was very disappointed that there was no VIVI award ceremony this year. I was looking forward to all of the festivities.

Thank God for Richard who invited all of the people who voted for The Glass Box to come over to my apartment for our own VIVI celebration. It was totally unexpected, but oh, so worth the moonlight! (see Nov 10 entry)

premiere.jpg Speaking of ceremonies... On Friday, I presented the kids with Student Recognition Awards. The students had no idea that I would be doing that. I love how big their eyes got when they saw all of the awards that they received. I had one student who received six!

Then, I gave them the "news." I will be taking all of the students who are passing and have no behavior referrals to see the Nutcracker Ballet. The children whose names I called were very surprised and they are very excited to be going on this field trip. The children who were not named were disappointed, but they realized that it was their fault for not livingup to their student responsibilities.

Then, I called in a couple of teachers. I recognized the teacher who provided the most student recommendations into my program, and I recognized the drama teacher who helped us with the Anti-Drug Skit. The kids applauded for them and I presented both of them with a cup from our company. The teachers were surprised that they were recognized and the applause from the children made it feel even more priceless.

It was a very simple ceremony and we celebrated with punch, cookies and peanuts, but the ceremony made a big impact.

Before our celebration was over, I noticed that one of the teachers brought in the kids that are not in the program to show them what they have missed.

betty.jpg  So, even though there was no VIVI award ceremony, I would like to take this time to congratulate all the journals that received VIVI awards, all the journals who were nominated, all the people who nominated the nominees, all the people who voted, and all the people who participated in putting the VIVI awards together.

TheGlassBox-2.jpg  My journal was nominated in 2004 and it was nominated again in 2006. Wow! I hope that everybody gets to experience the thrill of being nominated. It doesn't matter that The Glass Box didn't win at either nomination. It is amazing just to know that you have recognized my journal and brought new readers into my realm.

glassbox.gif Thank you, Everyone! You are amazing!!! Thank you for writing. Thank you for sharing your most intimate thoughts. Thank you for sharing your lives with me! I love my J-Land friends!

passport2 Winivere

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day 2006

In medieval times, it was the knight who fought for his country. In modern times, we might call that knight a soldier. 
Once was a time when people had nothing, but their honor was everything. It breaks my heart whenever I hear an adult say that defending our country is something that people don't do anymore, that it is a thing of the past. Unfortunately,their way of thinking does not stop there. It is carried on to their children and their children's children. 
                                  As a Color Guard marched by, the only one standing was the man in the wheel chair.
Dare to keep honor alive. Dare to teach our children to take that moment of silence to honor those who have fought for their safety and for their freedom and for the safety and the freedom of the people they love. Dare to teach our children that standing up when they see a Veteran is a sign of honor and respect for what they have done for us. Dare to teach our children that if they love their freedom and the freedom of our nation, they need to thank a Veteran.
Veteran's Day 
For my dad and for all our men and women in uniform... past, present and future... 
Today I wear the poppy to thank you and to honor you for your unselfish acts of kindness and bravery that defend our freedom and our country. 

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote. 

It is the VETERAN,
who salutes the Flag,
who serves beneath the Flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the Flag,
who allows the protester
to burn the Flag. 
Tomb of the Unknowns - PHOTO By M. R. Patterson
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier @ Arlington, Texas

"Here Rests
In Honored Glory
An American Soldier
Known But To God"

The Tomb is guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The "News"

I was disappointed that I had to pay twice if I wanted the corrected video of our Skit, but I stopped at Administration to purchase it anyway.
richard3 When I was pulling into the parking lot, there he stood, my gorgeous First Knight, holding a large bouquet of purple flowers.
"Couldn't wait 'til Saturday, Richard?!" I laughed.
He smiled as he handed me the bouquet of flowers and said, "These are for you."
"Oh, Richard. You are always so thoughtful. These flowers are in my favorite colors! I love them, but the Vivi Awards are not until Saturday."
He walked behind me as I entered my apartment. I was busy looking for a vase for the flowers when he gave me "the news." The Vivi Awards were canceled and the list of the winners has already been posted..
"The Glass Box didn't win," he said. He reached for me and pulled me close to him, and then, he held me. He just held me. So I let him. He smelled so good. How could I resist?!
"I'm okay, Richard, really. I was thinking about what you said yesterday, and I have to agree. It is an honor to be recognized for what we do, but it's not about winning. Fortunately, I don't need a trophy to know that I am a winner in life."
"I haven't taken the tags off the dress. I guess I could always take it back."
"You will do nothing of the kind," he said. "We are not going to the Vivi's, but you are going to go and put on that dress. I'll be back in an hour."
Before I knew it, Richard was at the door, looking better than a man has a right to. He popped open a bottle of Champagne and put in a DVD to give the illusion of a real fireplace in my apartment. We both laughed at the thought that it would be the only way a fireplace would work in the Valley. Then, he took a CD from his pocket and put it on the stereo. We walked out into the balcony and he held me as we looked up at the moon and the stars. I don't know how long we were out there, but it just felt right.
All of a sudden, there was a knock at the door and then another and another. Richard had invited all of the people who voted for The Glass Box. I couldn't believe he did this for me. Caterers showed up and there was champagne for everybody. My tiny apartment was so full of people that we had to go outside. There we all were, dancing in the moonlight, and I thought to myself: I love how he knows me.
 Dance Me to the End of Time  
I would like to take this time to thank all of the people who visit  The Glass Box. Sometimes, I feel as if my journal is a hidden secret that no one knows about. The fact that you have recognized my journal means more than words can say. But to know that my journal has touched someone else's heart is the ultimate reward. 

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Shopping for the Vivi Awards

 richard3 "I see you are sitting on the balcony again, Win!" he yelled from below, shaking his head. "Don't tell me that you don't plan to go!"
"Oh, not this time, Richard! This time, I am sitting here thinking about what I am going to wear. I'm glad you showed up, because I need to go shopping."
"Well, let's go!" he said, and we took out the Limo to get it serviced... again.
"You must be getting tired of me showing up to all your important events. Surely, you already have a date; right?!"
I do now," I said, smiling at my McDreamy, hoping I was looking cool instead of drooling.
richard3I was surprised to see him blush. "I was hoping you'd say that," he said. I couldn't see you going with someone else to this event."
"Neither could I ,Richard, neither could I." (Still hoping that I was not drooling.)
"So what's the plan?" he asks. 
"This year, I am thinking Harlow and I want to take my Whiting & Davis clutch again."
                 (This is a photograph of Marilyn Monroe posing as Jean Harlow.)
We found this gorgeous Harlow evening gown. For accessories, we found these earrings and brooch that were actually owned by Marilyn Monroe.  I know the earrings don't match, but they are so beautiful that Richard agreed that I should wear them.
         whitingdavisclutch... Marilyn Monroe's Large  ...  
I don't have details about the bracelet below. I don't think it was Marilyn's, except that it matches the brooch.
                                            ... Marilyn Monroe Rhinestone Bracelet
I personally own a Whiting & Davis clutch like the one pictured in this entry. I can see why Marilyn loved it.
We swung by the mechanic and picked up the Limo. On the way home, I was thinking to myself of how much God has blessed my life.
"Win or lose, I am glad that you will be there to hold my hand," I told him. "The butterflies in my stomach won't stop fluttering inside. Have you ever been this nervous? It would be nice to win, but if it doesn't happen, it is an honor just to be nominated."
"Yes, of course I get nervous like that every single time," he said, "but the butterflies are good. Just remember that no matter what the outcome, you have always been a winner in real life." 

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

After Halloween Party

DsDesignsOrangewitch.gifI only got five hours of sleep Saturday night, because I was up until 4:00 in the morning. My friend Laura invited me to her house for an After Halloween Party. She was supposed to have had it last week, but they had a death in the family, so she postponed it for this past weekend. 
The party was awesome. There was only one person who didnt wear a costume. The cowardly lion won in the kid's category and the hostess' mother-in-law won in the adults category. She was dressed as  a gypsy. The runners up were Jason and Cleopatra. 
The hostess was dressed as a chubby sexy nurse with bright red hair. The host was dressed as a wrestler with no shirt and a silver bling bling cape and silver bling bling underwear. He also wore a matching silver bling bling wrestler mask. Did I mention that he weighs 120 lbs? I thought it was funny that his wife kept saying that her husband is hot and that I was going to fall in love with him.
I was in awe at how secure he was in his costume, to be in his underwear in front of people he didnt even know. I have a hard enough time feeling secure in my everyday clothes.
There were all sorts of games for the kids~ bobbing for apples, musical chairs, mummy wrap (with toilet paper) and some other games that I didn't get to see, because we were too busy drinking margaritas and having a good time. The adults participated in musical chairs and the mummy wrap. They kept complaining that the toilet paperwasnt Charming because it kept breaking apart. People were also very busy taking crazy pictures behind an inflatable cemetery. After the games came karaoke. Everybody sang really bad but that was what made it even more hilarious. We were cheering and laughing so hard. I thank God that I didn't pee in my pants.
The stars looked beautiful and the clouds swept by slowly. It has been so long since I had the opportunity to appreciate nature at night out in the country. Then, I noticed it... there was a full moon. Unfortunately, whenever I am socializing under a full moon, I am sitting with a girl. What is God trying to tell me?!#
School News...
Tomorrow, I have a lady coming in to teach the kids Table Etiquette. It should be fun. I was surprised that the principal gave me the go-ahead to have the activity in the teacher's lounge. Will let you know how it goes.
I plan to have Student Recognition Awards. I have  been busy gathering all the attendance, academics and behavior information to see whom to select as the winners. I would like to make the presentations after the Etiquette lesson, but I don't know if I will complete them in time. I have voting ballots ready for the kids to vote for the Friendship Award. I also want to recognize the two teachers who have helped me the most this six weeks.
I spent most of the day yesterday making certificates by hand. I made a border out of our company logo and used a big paw as a seal to the left of the certificate. (Our mascot is the Scottie dog.) I cut and pasted the border around the certificate. I will use my originals to make copies of what I need. I am very happy with my design, because it is personalized, even though I had  to do it the old-fashioned way.
I completed and submitted a four-page proposal to the principal today for the Nutcracker performance. It was hard work, and it took me most of the day. I hope she will say yes. I feel sad that if she approves my proposal, I will only be able to take the kids who are passing and who have no referrals. It makes my list very small, but the trip will serve as an example to the kids who could have gone but chose to fight and not keep up with their schoolwork.
AOL News...
The Vivi Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 11th at 12:00 PM (PST), 3:00 PM (EST) and 8:00 PM (BST).  The links to the Chat rooms will be listed here about 11:00 on Saturday morning. They will need 5 people to host the rooms, but it cannot be a nominee, because they dont want us to know yet who won. If you are interested in hosting a room, please contact
Winivere - Candidate for BEST COLLEGE
A special thanks goes out to Donna for her Halloween design above.

Friday, November 3, 2006

This Week on TheGlassBox

As some of you know, I work with "at-risk" kids. Our anti-drug skit finally aired, but they didn't give us credit. I talked to the tech crew and there is a possibility that they may correct that. I hope so, and I hope they won't charge me for the corrected version of the video.
I was surprised today that one of the kids who told me she didn't want to be in the program actually complemented me on the skit. She chose not to participate because her best friend chose to stay in PE instead. I was surprised that she approached me. Her friend even offered me a piece of gum. Maybe they will change their minds later.
I was especially surprised when I saw a copy of my email to the principal in everybody's box. The principal wanted everybody to know that our skit is airing three times a day. Wow! That's incredible, especially since she has not been very responsive to our program. I think she sees that I run my program very differently from the people who ran the program before me. 
For those of you who are drooling over Mario in Dancing With the Stars, my boss gave me the okay to teach the kids ballroom. I do not know when I will get the instructor, as I will be sharing the instructor with a co-worker from another city, but I already have seven volunteers. One of the volunteers said her partner had better look like Antonio Banderas. I told her that he might look like Antonio Banderas, but he will probably be a sixth grader. The deal is that the instructor will teach me and the volunteers how to do the Tango and we will teach the kids what we learn. The original purpose was to compete with other schools but because there are only three schools involved, we will probably only put on a show.
This is a picture of my granddaughter's feet. As you can see, she put her shoes on the wrong feet. I am dyslexic. I just hope my feet aren't dyslexic, too! It has been so long since I was on the dance floor. That was in 1979 and early 1980, when disco was all the rage. "The dancing queen" they used to call me. Wow! Flashback! That was almost 30 years ago. 
In April 1980, I was in an unbelievable car wreck. That was the time that I died and God brought me back to life. My body is full of broken bones. The doctors warned me that if I survived, I would never walk again. Three years ago, I had a severe fall at work. A monthago, I fell coming in from the rain. Will my body be able to do this?! My ankles still hurt from my last fall. I have no idea if my body can survive this, but I am willing to try.
Also, for the past month, I have been working on a proposal to take the kids in my program to see the Nutcracker.
Our company is paying for the tickets and the bus. The principal finally responded today but she wants a lesson plan, so I will be working on that over the weekend.
                             Just in case you haven't voted for the VIVI Awards, this link will provide instructions on how to vote.
Thank you for considering me for this honor.
Winivere~ Candidate for BEST COLLEGE

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Day of the Dead


  dayofthedead.jpg  I never knew about the Day of the Dead until I came to the Valley. I had no idea why people wear amulets of death around their necks or why they put images of death on their vehicles or in their homes. I found it especially odd, because these images were not reserved for Halloween. They pretty much show off the image of death at any time of the year and worship her as their protector. Then, one day, when I was in Mexico, I saw all of these funny shadowboxes of skeletons getting married and doing everyday things. What was this great fascination with the dead?! 

Although the Mexican culture is poor, Ive seen them parading and dancing in the streets in colorful Aztec costumes and traditional Mexican dresses. There is music and more music, and even though the Anglo culture sees death as a tragedy, the Mexican culture celebrates it as a day of joy.

             Dia de los Muertos dancers.jpg

I thought the holiday had to do with the Mexican culture, but it is actually a blend of two cultures: The Indian and the European. The legend has it that when we die, our soul goes to the Land of the Dead and one day out of the year, is permitted to return home to be with our loved ones.

Thus, the preparation for The Visit. Much like the Egyptians~ the Aztec, Mayan and Toltec people used to bury their dead in earthen pots, surrounded with things that they will need in the after-life. The same principal applies for the preparation for The Visit. When a guest comes into your home, you honor them and surround them with the things they love(d).

Some people go to the cemetary to celebrate. They clean the graves and decorate the graves with things that the deceased used to like, including liquor, candy, etc. People take picnic baskets and sing and play music and some people are said to sleep at the graves until morning.

Other people prepare their homes, pretty much as you would prepare for a guest: linens are set out for the guest to sleep, washbins are set out so they can clean up, and the deceased favorite foods and drink are set out for them to eat.

The culture believes that we have three deaths: the one when our body stops functioning, the one when we are buried in the ground, and the one when there is no one left alive to remember us.


To prepare for the Day of the Dead, the Mexican people set up an altar. The altar is made with empty boxes stacked in several layers and covered with a white cloth. The top layer holds four candles, one for each direction, and include such things as sugar skulls and skeletons, pictures of deceased relatives, friends and icons, flowers, food, fruit, water, and ordinary things that the deceased enjoyed in real life such as cigarettes, liquor or beer. 

The altar is adorned with marigolds, which is called the flower of the dead, and scented candles. The candles play an important part of the altar, because it is said that they call the spirits home; therefore, the candles should not be blown out or the spirits will leave. The candles must be put out with the head of a marigold flower.

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